The concluding session of the on-going Tasting India: Farm to Table Symposium was held on 16 December 2017 at New Delhi. The discussion was chaired by Padma Shri Dr. Pushpesh Pant, an eminent culinary historian. At this session, the FSSAI also endorsed ‘The Indian Food Manifesto’ which was officially released by the Tasting India: Farm to Table Symposium in the presence of the Global First Lady of Indian Cuisine, Madhur Jaffrey. The 10 point Indian Food Manifesto not only covers extensive concerns but has also put forth guiding principles for action programmes on foods. The FSSAI has decided to support two initiatives that were proposed by experts and which were discussed at length.
The first of the two initiatives that FSSAI is keen to support is a Global Indian Food Day, on the lines of Gout de France. This will involve dedicating one day each year to celebrate Indian cuisine. On this day Indian restaurants across the globe would serve the same one menu which will have been put together by an international committee of Indian chefs (working both in India and overseas) as also in the Indian diplomatic missions. The second initiative FSSAI will support is to develop an Indian alternative to the Michelin Guide, on the lines of the Gault Millau in France, Osterie & Locande D’Italia in It0aly, and Zagat in the United States. These are hotel and restaurant reference guides and the FSSAI hopes to put together a multi-city food guide through a public-private partnership.
The FSSAI believes that these initiatives will enable people around the globe to sample the best of Indian cuisine. At the same time, consumers will also discover the vast variety of Indian agricultural produce and spices. The FSSAI will also dovetail their proposed hygienic ratings for restaurants along with the multi-city guide so that both the Indian consumers as well as international tourists will be able to make safe dining choices. The ratings would be carried out by an independent body of experts to insulate against any undue influence.
In addition to this, FSSAI has also announced the pre-event highlights of National Street Food Festival which is being organized in association with NASVI (National Association of Street Vendors of India). The three-day long festival will be held from
12th to 14th January 2018 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Last year too, the FSSAI had witnessed the festival and saw how it stood out because of the level of involvement of the street vending community from across the country, the compliance of the participants with safe hygiene practices, and footfalls it drew throughout the three days that the festival ran. The festival has definitely become a landmark in Delhi’s annual food calendar and has also raised the bar for street food vendors.
In view of its positive experience, and to institutionalize the festival, the Authority has decided to support this year’s National Street Food Festival too. FSSAI sees this as an opportunity to sensitize vendors, from across the country, in following safe food practices and global hygiene and sanitation standards. The festival comprises components from various sectors and has theme foods such as Organic Food Bazaar, Temple foods of India, Festival Foods of India, Flavours of India and cultural and recreational activities. The festival will also be marked by the presence of Street Food Legends of the country.
The Tasting India: Farm to Table Symposium saw participation in discussions by a group of diverse but distinct personalities. While on the one hand there was government participation from the likes of NITI Aayog’s CEO, Mr. Amitabh Kant, Karnataka’s Agriculture Minister, Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda, Director-General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Satyajeet Rajan and on the other hand there were participants like The Oberoi Group’s President, Mr Kapil Chopra, The Select Group’s Chairman, Mr Arjun Sharma, the acclaimed scientist, Dr Suman Sahai and Asia’s single largest producer of potatoes, Mr Jang Bahadur Singh Sangha.